Maui and the sun: Tama Nui Te Ra Adapted by Louise Judd
It was dark. The sun had gone down, too fast, as usual. Maui was angry because he could not see what he was eating.
“That sun goes too fast,” he grumbled. “The days are too short and the nights are too long.”
“Yes,” said his brothers. “We don’t get time to fish for ika or hunt.”
“We don’t get time to eat our kai,” said Maui.” “We must make the sun go more slowly across the sky.” Maui’s brothers laughed. “We can’t make the sun go more slowly.”
So Maui told his brothers to collect lots of flax or harakeke. “Make a strong rope,” he said. They did as they were told and brought him a big thick rope. “Perfect,” he said.
Maui said lots of karakia to the gods and made the rope into a huge net. Then Maui called his warriors together. He told them that they were going to help him with a dangerous and pakeke challenge.
They left the next night while the sun was asleep and travelled a long, long way carrying the heavy ropes that Maui had made into net. When they reached a BIG hole in the ground, they stopped. “Crikey,” said one warrior. “That’s a big hole!” “That’s where Tama Nui Te Ra, the sun sleeps,” said Maui. “Aue, aue, we can never defeat him,” moaned the warriors.
“ Yes we can,” said Maui and he stood up and started to say a karakia to make the nets strong. “Throw the nets over the hole and when Tama Nui Te Ra comes up we will hold him and I will ask him to stop going so fast through the sky.” So the warriors did what Maui asked them to do and then held onto the ropes very tightly.
Suddenly the sun rose up from the hole! “Tighten the rope, whakakiki,” said Maui. He was saying lots of karakia to keep the ropes holding Tama Nui Te Ra tight. Then he started to hit the sun with his patu.
“Why are you beating me?” cried Tama Nui Te Ra. “You are going far too wawe across the sky. We don’t get time to grow our food and eat it before it is dark.” “I don’t care,” said Tama Nui Te Ra. I will go as fast as I like. You can’t catch me.” “Oh, yes, I already have,” shouted Maui and he hit the sun until he was so sore he could hardly move.
Rangi the sky father helped carry the sun gently across the sky. He said to Maui, “don’t worry, I will help him go slowly across me every day so you can grow your kai and fish for ika and hunt for kereru from now on.”